South Korean court seizes shares from Bithumb investors

The Bithumb investigation continues; a September 14 ruling from the Seoul Central District Court has resulted in the seizure of shares from major Bithumb shareholders, specifically, BK Group chairman Byung-gun Kim. 

The seizure was executed on September 16 at the digital currency exchange‘s Gangnam office by Korean accounting firm Samjong KPMG. The seizure from Bithumb’s shareholders is the latest development in the ongoing Bithumb fraud investigation.

Bithumb is currently under investigation for fraud. The platform was raided twice this month in connection with the investigation—once at its Gangnam office and again at its Seoul office. 

The investigation is in relation to the private sale of Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA) tokens that Bithumb hosted, as well as allegations that Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bithumb Holdings and Bithumb Korea, Lee Jung-hoo, illegally transferred assets out of the country.

In 2018 Bithumb conducted a private sale for BXA tokens and told investors that once Bithumb was acquired by BK Group chairman Byung-gun Kim, that BXA tokens were to be listed on the exchange. However, the acquisition did not happen and BXA tokens were not listed on Bithumb. As a result, investors suffered significant losses.

Lee Jung-Hoo is also under investigation for fraud. Authorities say that Lee attempted to transfer assets overseas without reporting the transfer to the appropriate government agencies. 

What’s going on in Korea?

South Korean police have conducted three raids on digital currency exchanges in the past month. On August 26, South Korean Police raided Coinbit; on September 2, police raided Bithumb’s Gangnam office for the alleged fraud from the exchange and its chairman, and on September 7th, police raided Bithumb’s Seoul office looking for more information regarding the ongoing fraud investigations.

From the looks of it, South Korean police and regulators are looking to remove all of the bad actors from their country, even if one of those bad actors is the largest digital currency exchange in South Korea.

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